Lovely Things: Fat Tuesday Food Porn Edition

I know I sound like every other person ever but I really cannot believe it is already March and that today is Fat Tuesday. Erin and I were raised Catholic, so when we were younger, this is the day we would binge on whatever junk food we were going to give up for the next forty days, usually candy, chocolate, pop, or bubblegum.

I am not going to give anything up for Lent this year, because frankly, I am as lapsed of a Catholic as you can be, and even if I weren’t, would Jesus REALLY care if I gave up Diet Coke for forty days? He’s all like, “Thanks, Mags, that totes what I died for.” No. BUT. I am going to add some positive things to my life, including some of these amazing desserts. I thought it would be fitting to show off some recipes I am itching to try, seeing as it is Fat Tuesday.

Anything with Nutella is good in my book. Nutella Sandwich Cookies from A Beautiful Mess.

Anything with Nutella is good in my book. Nutella Sandwich Cookies from A Beautiful Mess.

These are "healthy," so I'm all about it. Coco-Nutty Fudge Treat by Oh Joy!

These are “healthy,” so I’m all about it. Coco-Nutty Fudge Treat by Oh Joy!

Double Drizzle Pecan Cookies because DUH. From A Taste of Home.

Double Drizzle Pecan Cookies because DUH. From A Taste of Home.

Mint Macarons by Zoe Bakes. PERFECT FOR SAINT PATTY'S DAY Y'ALL.

Mint Macarons by Zoe Bakes. PERFECT FOR SAINT PATTY’S DAY Y’ALL.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge by Buns in My Oven. Just drooling at my desk.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge by Buns in My Oven. Just drooling at my desk.

If you have any amazing recipes that I need to try ASAP (I have an absurd amount of brown sugar at my house for some reason, so anything that involves that will be good,) please share them! Or just drool over these photos, whichever you prefer.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

So you all know I like dessert. Erin and I are both pretty skilled when it comes to baking, and now that it is finally getting cooler in LA, I can heat up the oven and start baking some delicious fall goods.

I’ve posted the recipe for good old fashioned Gooey Butter Cake before, but now that it is fall, I feel like we need some pumpkin action up in here. The recipe is pretty much the same except you add pumpkin, but in case you need a refresher, here is the recipe in full:

Ingredients
Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix (I used a 15 oz cake mix and it was fine)
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Or, if you’re like me and your oven doesn’t have exact degrees, turn the knob somewhere towards the middle and hope for the best.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. (Or, again, if you’re dirt poor, a wooden spoon and some elbow grease will get the job done.) Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling:

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey. I like mine a LOT gooey, but the choice is up to you.

Serve with fresh whipped cream. Or Cool Whip. Or just eat it out of the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven. I won’t judge.

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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Truffle Cookie Cups

My friend Amy recently hosted a “Girls Party” where, as the title suggests, only girls were invited to join. (And for the record these are great because you can talk about anything from diva cups to boob issues without any reserve; that is, if you ever had any reserve to begin with.)  So with the promise of all girls and wine at this party Lizzie and I had the same inclination to bake something for the soirée.  After working with a few ideas we came up with this recipe: the mythical chocolate chip peanut butter truffle cookie cup.  Yes, it is as delicious as the name suggests.

It seems the other women had the same idea as us: by the time we were all there pumpkin cookies, caramel sea salt rice krispie treats, and oatmeal raisin cookies along with our cups filled the table.  It was a beautiful spread, and if you want any of those other recipes you’ll have to ask them, but as for our recipe, Lizzie and I are happy to share it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (or a little more) Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Directions:

  • melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals (be careful not to burn it!)
  • mix in peanut butter
  • line a baking tray with tin foil or wax paper and spread the mix thinly on top
  • put in the freezer for 30 minutes
  • preheat the oven to about 350*
  • spray a mini (or regular) muffin tray with non-stick spray
  • mix the butter and the two sugars together until smooth
  • add the egg, yolk, and vanilla
  • add the flour, salt, and baking soda
  • take out the chocolate peanut butter from the freezer and chop into small chunks
  • mix evenly into the dough
  • fill the cupcake tins with the dough
  • bake for about 12 minutes
  • and then put them on a plate and bring them to a party and drink them with cheap red wine!
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Recipe: Watermelon, Mint, and Basil Popsicles

Happy Labor Day, y’all. I love Labor Day and Memorial Day because in general, they mean getting together with friends and eating a lot of food from the grill. My friend Colin is having a potluck BBQ today and along with some chips and sliced watermelon, I am going to bring these bad boys:

Watermelon Popsicles - too cute

I went to Michael’s thinking they would have popsicle molds, but they didn’t and I had to punt. Turns out cupcake pans make super adorable baby popsicles. Every time I pulled one out of the mold I said “Awww!” I need help.

Here is how to make these adorable pops:

simple syrup:
one cup water
one cup sugar
mint leaves (as much as you would like)
basil leaves (I did a lot less of these but they still add a nice herby kick)

Mix the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 30 seconds. Add your mint and basil and then stir it up. Let that soak for about 30 minutes.

While you are waiting for your simple syrup to infuse, take a small watermelon, cube it up, and puree it using a food processor/blender/your fists. When the simple syrup is done, add your pureed watermelon to the mix, put into your molds, and pop ’em into the freezer!

After about an hour and a half, the pops should be frozen enough where you can put a stick in them. If you are using a fancy pants popsicle mold, ignore this step.

I let mine sit overnight and they got really frozen (surprise!). To get them out of the cupcake pan, I filled a larger pyrex pan with warm water, placed the cupcake pan in there for a minute, and then twisted the sticks and pulled and voila! Adorable baby pops, perfect for a BBQ. Or breakfast. Watermelon’s a fruit so that counts, right?

So darn cute!

Hope everyone has a lovely, safe, delicious Labor Day!

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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just the greatest chocolate chip cookies ever.

Chocolate chip cookies are pretty basic. I feel like everyone should know how to make them (and no, scooping them out of a tollhouse container and popping them in the oven does NOT count.) I made these over the weekend because I had some friends over for a movie and pizza. People were pretty impressed, and I promised my friend Lauren I would post the recipe, so here it is:

Ingredients
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.) Preheat your oven to 350 (if your oven is like mine and doesn’t have degrees on the knob, turn it a little over half way)
2.) Cream the sugars and butter. I don’t have an electric mixer, so I melt down the butter in the microwave for about 45 seconds – you don’t want it to be completely liquid, but just soft enough that you can mix it. If you have an electric mixer, well then GOOD FOR YOU RICHIE RICH.
3.) Add vanilla and eggs and mix in well. I put a little more than a tablespoon of vanilla in because I fucking LOVE vanilla. So up to you.
4.) Combine dry ingredients together and gradually add to creamed mixture.
5.) Add in your chocolate chips. Like with the vanilla, feel free to use more than the recipe suggests.
6.) Taste the dough to make sure it’s not poisonous. Repeat this step as often as necessary.
7.) Roll into 1 1/4″ balls and place on non-stick cookie sheets, about 2″ apart.
8.) Bake for 10-12 minutes and viola! Delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.

This makes a BUTTLOAD of cookies (see image above), so make sure you have somewhere to take them or are about to self-indulge in a shit-load of sugary goodness.

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